Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March 7th

Keith had left his uniform jacket in the garage last night; he brought home a new buddy from work and they had been hanging out back there in the late afternoon, drinking cold beer and talking trucks.

I had to open the garage door to make my way around the gleaming bulk of the HD (we measure each garage before we rent the house- if the truck don't fit, we don't move in). I found his jacket on the four wheeler and turned to go back into the house.

Above the faint tracery of branches, I saw the full moon, white against the dark sky.

"I didn't realize there was a full moon tonight," I told Jesus, with pleasure. I felt Him draw close and we looked up together. I thought of how He made the moon to rule the night; it's such a lovely thought.

The past couple days I have been moving through a lot of condemnation. Every where I turn, I see my shortcomings, my failures, my imperfections. It's exhausting and feels as though it will never end.

Sometimes when I feel this way, I sense Him near and sometimes I do not. The night before last, I did not feel His presence, but this time, I remembered that He is the most faithful when I am the most confused.

I pictured my inner turmoil like the storm that rocked the disciples' boat while Jesus slept.

I could try and wrestle with the storm myself- that's the most tempting option, of course. It's most tempting to stand looking out over all those things I don't like about myself, and command them to change, to lash out at them. However, that just never works for long.

Or I could panic and wake Jesus and beg Him to calm it for me, as the disciples very understandably did, and as I have done, many times. And I knew He would, because of His patience and tender lovingkindness.

But, I realized that night, there was a third choice. I could choose to curl up with Him in the stern of the boat and know the storm is nothing but sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Over and over again, I chose to lie down and rest with Him, and to know that He will finish what He began in my life and that my true identity rests in Him. The storm can rage all it wants; it can't touch me, my life is hidden with Christ.

It doesn't matter if I can sense Him there or not; He always is there. He is faithful in all that He says and He is gracious in all that He does.

Last night, again, I got caught up in the storm of my self condemnation. I was talking with Him about it, about how bewildering it was.

"...and I don't know what it true!" I told Him, wearily.

I am true, He said simply, and the quiet words sank into my spirit and spread out into peace.

I remembered that He is called that; that is one of His names. He is called Faithful and True.

There is a verse from one of the psalms that has been dancing in my head for days now; this morning, when I flipped over my calendar, guess what verse I saw there?

"The steps of the godly are directly by the Lord.
He delights in every detail of their lives.
Though they stumble, they will not fall,
for the Lord holds them by the hand."
-Psalm 37:23-24 NLT

I woke this morning full of energy. I tore the bed clothes off and washed them and went for a grocery trip and paid the bills. I am thinking about shampooing the rugs.

Almost I didn't go for a walk, having so many other things to do, but He called me out, so I went. As I walked, I thought about that verse.

"You must delight in every detail of our lives because, in the end, they will all be to the praise of Your glory," I told Jesus.

And I love you, He pointed out, with His loving humor. As if to say, don't forget the main point!

I actually let myself dwell on the possibility that God might delight Himself in every detail of our lives simply because He loves us. It was awesome, in the truly old fashioned sense of the word. It is a difficult thing to wrap one's mind around.

For one moment, I saw it and laughter rose up out of me, from the joy of it. I was suddenly, acutely aware of myself and for that one moment, I saw myself without any judgement, just as myself, as the woman that I am, as He created me. The perspective was astonishing in its simplicity.

One day, all these shifting layers of perspective will fall away. All our scars, all our pain and brokenness, our confusion and questions, our fear and doubt, all will drop off of us like heavy burdens and we won't carry them ever again. We will see ourselves as He sees us, as we truly are.

What freedom there will be in that moment! Even now, it is possible by faith simply to rest in it. Now the storm rages and we see the surging waves, but if we like, we can curl up with Jesus and rest in Him. We can rest in His perfect work, knowing that even the winds and the waves obey Him and sooner or later, we are going to reach the peaceful shore.